The Simpsons

Season 15 Episode 13

Smart and Smarter

2
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 22, 2004 on FOX
8.2
out of 10
User Rating
107 votes
7

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Smart and Smarter
AIRED:
Apu and Manjula are signing up two of the octuplets for Miss Wickerbottom's Pre-Nursery School and after a verbal exchange with Dr. Hibbert, Homer decides they should do the same for Maggie. Because she can't talk, she doesn't pass the initial screening. Afterwards Lisa discovers that even though Maggie can't talk she does show signs of brilliance. Another screening at the pre-pre school shows of her talents and reveals that she has a higher IQ than Lisa. Maggie's new brilliance leaves Lisa searching for a new identity, since she no longer has her status as "the smart one." Lisa tries stand-up comedy, becoming a goth ‘Ravencrone Neversmiles,' cheerleader, rapper, soccer player, cowgirl; none of which workout for her. After she is discovered trying to sabotage her sister's education Lisa leaves home with 2¢ to her name. She decides to stay at the Natural History Museum, where her family is sure to never find her; however Springfield's "finest" do discover her location and they bring the family to help them find her. An accident gets Marge, Bart and Homer trapped in an exhibit and they look to Maggie to get them out, but Maggie's secret to her brilliance is nowhere to be found.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Wednesday
5:30pm
CW
Thursday
5:30pm
CW
8:30pm
FXX
9:00pm
FXX
9:30pm
FXX
10:30pm
FXX
11:00pm
FXX
FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Lisa becomes jealous when everyone thinks Maggie is smarter than her.

    8.5
    The family attempts to enrol Maggie into a pre-nursery school but is rejected by the rude admissions clerk as she cannot yet talk. Lisa recognises her talent so they bring her back to the school for an IQ test. This time the admissions clerk labels her a genius, with an IQ of 167. With Maggie the smartest in the family, Lisa is jealous and tries to make herself a different person but her new identities fail. When she finds she is a little too bitter, she runs away from home and finds refuge in the Natural History Museum. The police track her down and bring the family there to find her. The family, minus Maggie, gets caught in a giant working model of the digestive system. With Maggie at the controls, she almost drowns her entire family until Lisa apologises and helps her push the right button. Ths school informs the family that all along Maggie was just relaying answers that Lisa subconsciously gave her, and not a genius after all. This was another well-executed plot from season 15. Overall I loved this episode. Maybe not the best of the season, but it was still pretty well put together. I also thought Simon Cowell fit in well as a guest star to the episode. Give it a watch.moreless
  • Maggie is smarter than Lisa... Has the impossible happened, Lisa is not the smartest Simpson anymore????? Maybe or maybe not this episode had a great trick ending and had hilarious humor...moreless

    9.3
    The family attempts to enrol Maggie into a pre-nursery school but is rejected by the rude admissions clerk as she cannot yet talk. Lisa recognises her talent so they bring her back to the school for an IQ test. This time the admissions clerk labels her a genius, with an IQ of 167. With Maggie the smartest in the family, Lisa is jealous and tries to make herself a different person but her new identities fail. When she finds she is a little too bitter, she runs away from home and finds refuge in the Natural History Museum. The police track her down and bring the family there to find her. The family, minus Maggie, gets caught in a giant working model of the digestive system. With Maggie at the controls, she almost drowns her entire family until Lisa apologises and helps her push the right button. Ths school informs the family that all along Maggie was just relaying answers that Lisa subconsciously gave her, and not a genius after all.moreless
  • How the darker, more sinister Simpsons can be a good thing at times.

    9.4
    What's not to say about this episode? Sure this episode is dark at times, like most of the Series in the past few years, especially with Lisa becoming tired and hungry and penniless after running away from home, but it is combined with a good sense of drama, the likes of which has not been seen since the early days of the series. Also Alf Clausen has done a brilliant job with the score, continuing to prove that it is a major character the equal of Bart or Homer.

    In short a brilliant episode, yet not an absolute classic.moreless
  • This episode is great. Two fantastic Simpsons episodes in a row.

    8.5
    Two good episodes in a row? Wow! I thought the appearance of Simon Cowell would be pretty awful and leave me really annoyed, but he suited the character perfectly and he was made fun of a fair bit.



    The opening was very good and quickly led into the main storyline... no waiting around for five minutes until some silly antics had finished (there were silly antics in the opening, but they didn't last long). There were a lot of great moments in the episode, such as Homer and the spelling machine (Hu-O-Meh-Eh-Err and later, Z-Z-Z-Z-Z...) and Bart's line: "Welcome to... the others!".



    I actually can't think of anything bad at all in the episode, apart from we saw too much of Wiggum, Lou and Eddie in the museum, it got a little tiresome. And Maggie playing the saxophone at the end was pretty strange, even if she is really smart.

    moreless
  • Maggie smarter than Lisa?

    8.5
    This plot was a very creative one with great jokes, one of my favourite scenes being homer and his speller that can't seem to pronounce Homer's name. The two sides of the tongue was a great idea (sour and sweet), deciding Lisa's mood. I don't watch American Idol (or Australian Idol for that matter), so I didn't appreciate the guest star of Simon Cowell but this didn't make the episode any worse. there were a couple of scenes that didn't have too much humour but not that many and this is one episode that I did enjoy watching and could watch at least a couple more times.moreless
Julie Kavner

Julie Kavner

Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier

Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others

Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others

Nancy Cartwright

Nancy Cartwright

Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others

Yeardley Smith

Yeardley Smith

Lisa Simpson

Hank Azaria

Hank Azaria

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell

Henry

Guest Star

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others

Recurring Role

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others

Recurring Role

Karl Wiedergott

Karl Wiedergott

Additional Voices

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • There's a few references to Lisa's Subsitute:
      -Marge gives Lisa the paper quoting "You are Lisa Simpson". Mr. Bergstrom gave her a similar paper.
      -The poster looking for Lisa that says "Free Beer: Now that I got your attention....", which is like the one where Bart's campaign poster says "Sex: Now that I got your attention...".

    • Lisa said her I.Q. is 159. In "Homer's Enemy", Homer states Lisa's I.Q. is 156.

  • QUOTES (24)

    • Lisa: I'm tired. I'm hungry. Red plastic sandals are not good running-away footwear.

    • Chief Wiggum: Somewhat satisfied? Well, maybe I'll just somewhat find your daughter.

    • Lisa: Stuffed cabbage? Can you beleive they found a way to make cabbage worse?

    • Phonics Frog: I agree with your mother. You are a disappointment to Huh-Oh-Muh-Eh-Ur.

    • Henry: Meet Maggie Simpson, IQ 167.

    • (Lisa holds up a card that reads "octogenarian". Maggie points at Grampa.)
      Lisa: No, that's wrong.
      (Maggie points at the dog.)
      Lisa: That's right, this says 'dog'.

    • Homer: We've all learned something today. Never be something you're not, namely food.

    • (Lisa is dressed as a goth.)
      Milhouse: What are you now Lisa? An Oakland Raiders fan?

    • Lisa: Just because Maggie can't talk doesn't mean she's dumb. Einstein didn't speak until he was three.
      Marge: And even then he could only speak German.

    • Phonics Frog: How-dayr-yew-lee-sa-yew-arh-ah-dis-grayss-tuu-huh-ohh-mm-ehh-ur. (How dare you Lisa! You are a disgrace to Huh-Ohh-Mm-Ehh-Ur.)

    • Lisa: So… Maggie's NOT a genius?
      Henry: Oh she could be… at sweeping up hair!
      Homer: That's my baby, JERK!
      (Punches Henry leaving him with a bruise on his nose)
      Henry: You call that a punch? I felt it, but it was like "so what"?
      (Homer punches Henry again leaving a nosebleed)
      Henry: Oh, again with the nose. I have a chin too you know!
      (Homer punches Henry making him unconscious.)
      Moe: (as the butler) Don't worry sir, the maid and I will take him out to the curb. Come on!
      Barney: (as the maid) You promised me no one would get hurt!

    • (Lisa as a stand-up comedian)
      Lisa: So... why do they call them field trips? We never go to a field!
      Skinner: Not true! Last week we went to a battlefield.
      Ralph: I'm bembarrassed for you!
      Nelson: The following "Ha Ha" is not from amusement, but a sign of contempt. HA HA!

    • Henry: You are now qualified to teach at Florida State.

    • Simon: You call that a punch? I felt it, but it was like "so what?"

    • Boy: The pig says Oink! The chicken says..
      Henry: Stop! I could go to any Chuck E' Cheese in America if I want to hear what animals say. You know what I say? I say next!
      (Mother picks up boy and walks away)
      Boy: You're a poopie!
      Henry: Do you nurse with that mouth?

    • Lisa: I can't believe I'm jealous of a baby!
      Bart: Hey, so am I! When you're a baby, you can just spend all day rolling around on the floor.(sighs)I miss those days.
      Nelson: Then roll, baby!
      (Bart rolls on the bus floor)
      Nelson: Ha Ha! Floor Baby!
      Lisa: You're laughing at him for something you made him do.
      Nelson: Well… you're gay!
      Lisa: People who call other people gay are often covering up their own latent homosexuality.
      (Nelson panics and jumps out the emergency exit. He rolls and then gets back up)
      Nelson: BULLIES RULE!

    • Homer: Marge, I always loved you. Bart, you were a worthy foe.

    • Pimply Teen: Sir, you can't take food into the theater.
      Comic Book Guy: Search all you want. You'll never find it all. I'm baking muffins as we speak.

    • Homer: (snores then presses Phonics Frog button)
      Phonics Frog: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

    • (After getting digested)
      Homer: Now Marge, you can't say I never take you anywhere.

    • Homer: Look what they sent over. A talking dealy. His name is Phonics Frog.
      (Homer presses A, B, and C)
      Phonics Frog: Ah-Buh-Cuh…
      (Homer types his name)
      Phonics Frog: Huh-Oh-Muh-Eh-Ur
      Homer: That's me! Huh-Oh-Muh-Eh-Ur.
      (Presses more buttons)
      Phonics Frog: This-Is-Huh-Oh-Muh-Eh-Ur-Dok-tor-Hee-kan-ot-cum-too-urk-too-day.(a.k.a., This is Homer's doctor he cannot come to work today.)
      (Homer laughs)
      Homer: Uh… I'll be right back. (runs to the phone)

    • (After Maggie reveals she can play the saxaphone as well as Lisa, Lisa grabs it)
      Lisa: Not for babies. (shoves pacifier in Maggie's mouth)

    • Simon Cowell: (seeing his name in the credits) Now, there's a celebrity!

    • (As the Gracie Production goes on, the traditional "Shhh")
      Simon Cowel: Oh, shhh yourself!

  • NOTES (2)

    • During the end credits, you hear Simon making comments about various members of the production team.

    • Blackboard Joke: None.
      Couch Gag: A dry-cleaning conveyor is suspended above the couch. The conveyor is filled with numerous garment bags. The conveyor begins moving and then stops, with each member of the family in a garment bag, hanging above their respective place on the couch.

  • ALLUSIONS (5)

    • Simon Cowell: She's as common as an angry woman in an Ibsen play.
      Cowell's revelation that Maggie is only smart because she's watching Lisa is similar to the case of Clever Hans at the turn of the century. Hans was a horse reputed to be able to think. He would answer yes and no questions and add and subtract numbers, answering by tapping a hoof. Oskar Pfungst, a young German psychologist, proved the horse was responding to the nonverbal cues of the questioner--head nods, finger movements, eye twiches, and such--that they weren't aware they gave. So in short, horses can't think. Ibsen was an Icelandic playwright who invented the realistic drama and wrote Lady From the Sea, A Doll's House and Hedda Gabler, which are stark tragedies with female protagonists.

    • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane
      The sequence with the older Lisa and Maggie is a parody of the 1962 film "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?"

    • :
      Lisa staying in the Natural History Museum is a reference to the book "The Mixed Up Files of Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler," in which kids ran away from home and lived in the local museum.

    • :
      The song that is playing right after Lisa runs away is 'Moon River' from the 1961 film "Breakfast at Tiffany's." The scene also parodies a moment in the film where "Fred" is looking for Holly Golightly in New York City.

    • :
      The title spoofs the title of the 1994 film "Dumb & Dumber" starring Jim Carrey & Jeff Daniels (the title's self-explanatory).

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